While cultivating weldingsmostwanted.com…
I was attending The Hobart Welding Institute in Troy, Ohio and would drive to Cleveland, Ohio on the weekend to work on billboards as a structural welder.
One weekend in Cleveland, we worked ourselves out of a job. I was cut loose off St. Clair Blvd with nothing but trouble to find. I called up an old friend that was in college and drove an hour to Ashland University so I could give the old welders day off the college try.
I was thinking: watch out for the hotshot welder on campus! But, shortly after I arrived, I realized this was not the case!
Arriving at a party, I got the “yes, I see you” vibe from a girl across the room, so I decided to approach her. We talked, drank, laughed and then she asked me what my major was. I told her I was with a couple buddies who go here and that I was a welder working in Cleveland on billboards.
Her vibe immediately changed. She said that she didn’t know what welding was and our conversation ended quickly.
At that moment I realized many people don’t even know what welding is.
The night continued on to a few different parties but eventually, I ran into that girl from earlier. Only this time I was a bit more intoxicated and had the bright idea to talk to her again. To my surprise, she didn’t even recognize me. So, I got another bright idea and asked what her major was and proceeded to tell her I was the punter at The Ohio State University. She said, “Here take my number. I always come down to Columbus!”
At this moment I realized welding was being slept on overall.
Moral of the story:
Welding’s fucking cool and here’s why!
When nearing the end of the program at Hobart I had explored nearly every route imaginable. Did I want to join the union, if so which side? Ironworkers, Pipefitters, Steamfitters, Boilermaker, or Elevator Local? Did I want to go nonunion and chase rigs in the oilfield? Work aerospace? Weld underwater? Build custom fabrication, create welded art for the world? This is one of the largest industries in the entire world with many employment opportunities and limitless possibilities.
As a welder, you can work anywhere in the world with the opportunity to master a skill and develop a craft. Welding can lead you to a situation where you can have creative and financial freedom in your life. If you don’t think you’re being paid fairly you can pack your things and go down the road. You have the freedom to work anywhere being a welder. Welding can provide you with an income that allows you to live comfortably with more freedoms to buy the things that you need to build the life you want with your friends and family.
Welding gives you the satisfaction of a job well done, a big smile from a happy customer’s thank you, or the handshake and look in the eye of a “you’re hired” moment. We’re able to build, repair and maintain for our friends, family, neighbors and those in need. Using your body and mind to create something returns a powerful feeling. The feeling of facing these daily obstacles and overcoming them to complete what’s on your plate is one of the best feelings that comes from welding. It’s something that you can always look at proudly and hold to a high level of respect. I think now that we’re able to connect and give back like never before, we should use this as an opportunity to pass down knowledge and experiences about life and welding to those willing to read, watch and listen.
A ball in our court allows those with craftsmanship to decide their monetary value in a time of New Age technology. The ball left in the court of Industrial Age powers and we build for the machine until the machine builds for itself.Austin Brand Ottney
Thanks for your time, I promise not to waste it! We’re going to be featuring fabricators, giving tool reviews and a few other surprises.